Ooredoo Cup Semifinal – Al Gharafa 0 Al Rayyan 3
Al Rayyan stormed into the final of 2020-21 season Ooredoo Cup by defeating Al Gharafa 3-0 in the second semifinal at the Al Sadd Stadium on Sunday.
Star Ivorian striker Yohan Boli (18th and 36th minutes) and Mohammed Juma Al Alwai (57th minute) scored the goals as Al Rayyan asserted their supremacy in the match-up between traditionally-strong teams in Qatar football with many accomplishments and huge fan base.
Both sides were without players who are on national duty.
The result was yet another blow to Al Gharafa, who had lost 0-2 to Al Wakrah in Week 21 of the 2020-21 season QNB Stars League on 16th March. That match was originally scheduled for 6th April along with other Week 21 games, but was rescheduled in view of Al Gharafa’s play-off with Uzbekistan’s FC AGMK in Doha on 7th April, 2021, for a berth in the 2021 AFC Champions League group stage.
The Cheetahs had lost 1-3 to Al Ahli in Week 19 as well.
On to the Ooredoo Cup semifinal, Al Rayyan dominated possession and had more of the opportunities than Al Gharafa in the first half, with Boli, Yacine Brahimi and Abdulrahman Al Harazi giving a tough time to rival goalkeeper Yousef Hassan with threatening moves.
Boli made much of a difference by scoring two goals before the teams went into the half-time break.
He scored the first goal off a corner kick taken by Brahimi and Dame Traore set him up. Ibrahim Masoud set the stage for the second goal scored by Boli.
Al Rayyan started from where they left off in the second half. Boli found the mark in the 50th minute, but was ruled offside by referee Yousef Al Sharshani.
Five minutes later, Al Gharafa had a good chance to reduce the margin, but Jonathan Kodjia’s shot was saved by Al Rayyan goalkeeper Fahad Younis.
Mohammed Juma soon made it 3-0 with a first-time goal-bound shot from deep on the left, with Ibrahim Masoud again doing the spadework.
Al Gharafa made some serious attempts at the goal. Saeed Al Hajj’s rising shot was parried by Fahad with a diving save in the 61st minute and Kodjia’s placing shot from close went narrowly wide of the target in stoppage time. And Al Rayyan cruised to an easy win.
In the 2020-21 Ooredoo Cup’s knockout quarterfinals played on 16th November, 2020, Al Gharafa defeated Al Sadd 4-2 and Al Rayyan edged Al Khor 1-0.
Al Gharafa and Al Rayyan reached the quarterfinals being the first and third team from Group B with 13 and seven points respectively.
The final is scheduled for Friday, 26th March.